We are all making adjustments in response to the pandemic, and many regions of the U.S. are transitioning to a new open-but-not-too-many-inside retail model. As businesses begin to reopen, some people will be eager to get back out there and spend their money. It’s time to prepare your local and digital marketing for a comeback to drive local traffic ready to buy.
Prepare Local Marketing for Post COVID-19 Comeback
For the past decade, marketing has been evolving with new, improved digital marketing tools and platforms. This year was forecasted to be the first year online advertising surpassed offline channels. With home-stuck consumers turning to the internet for online shopping and entertainment, actual numbers should be more significant than expected.
As coronavirus restrictions loosen, people will want to shop local. Not only will they want to minimize how far from home they travel, but they will want to support local small businesses in their community. Your local marketing efforts should focus on getting your business’s products, services, and offers in front of ready-to-shop customers over and over again in your area.
The Global Pandemic Changed Local Consumer Behavior
With the global pandemic, consumer behavior has changed drastically. For those without significant disposable income, an economic downturn might result in a sharp decline in their propensity to spend.
While your customer base could take a “wait and see” approach, local businesses should consider their target audience and how their buying habits may change as a result of the current economic climate. Use your knowledge of customer behavior to adjust campaigns as needed quickly.
You will need to produce clear direction on how your business will proceed as customers look for easier, safer ways to do business. According to Agility PR Solutions data, “Sixty-five percent of consumers expect that company actions during this time will likely impact which brands they decide to purchase in the future.”
Focus local marketing on letting customers in your area know that you are open and what you have to offer. Still, there is more that needs to be said. Communicate what precautions are being taken with your own employees and what systems are in place to ensure a reduced risk of contamination or spread of the virus to customers.
As local market dynamics continue to change, you should continuously reassess active marketing campaigns and reevaluate current strategies. What was effective and relevant two weeks ago may not necessarily be appropriate today. And we should assume in this situation that things will continue to change for the next six to twelve months.
Prepare Now for the New Normal
Businesses should anticipate the fade of coronavirus and that a “new normal” will bring an economy where consumers’ spending habits stabilize. With that in mind, remember that your local digital marketing efforts are part of a long-term strategy. What you do today to promote your business will affect how people find your business and how people feel about you one, two, twelve months from now.
Now is when you’ll find that you will have less competition, which means it is easier and faster to get results. Plus, when you see competitors closing down or reducing their marketing, it’s the perfect opportunity to double-down. You may not see the biggest return right away, but in the long-term consistency and perseverance pay off.
Once the dust settles, and consumer behavior has stabilized, there will be a number of marketing and branding shifts that will need to be adjusted back, such as updating any of your business operations on your website, Google My Business & Bing Places.
Finally, ensure whatever adjustments you made to business listings, hours, descriptions, or phone numbers on your website or online accounts during the quarantine are changed back.
We are ready to help you in planning how you can bounce back. Contact us today, at 318-219-5353 and schedule your complimentary online strategy meeting.